Nagel Resigns as Tenino Football Coach


Cary Nagel announced Thursday that he is resigning as head football coach Tenino after six years in charge in Stone City.

“After talking with my family and my close circle, it was time to close the chapter in Tenino, take a deep breath, and move on to something else in the future,” he said.

Nagel posted the news on the Tenino Football page Thursday morning, citing “a series of circumstances the past few months” that led to his decision.

Born and raised in Shelton, Nagel began his coaching career as an assistant for the Highclimbers before moving to Franklin Pierce in Tacoma. He spent two seasons as the offensive coordinator before getting his first head coaching position at Tenino in 2017, taking over a program, which was coming off a 3-6 season and had gone through three coaches in the past four years.

Tenino rang in its new coach with his Power T scheme with a new black field, but things started off roughly. The Beavers won just one game in each of Nagel’s first two seasons, before going 2-7 in 2019.

Coming out of the COVID-19 pause, though, things came together. With four years to make the program fully his, Nagel led the Beavers to a 10-2 record in 2021 behind Oregon State commit Takari Hickle, beating 1A Evergreen power Montesano for the first time in eight years and earning a win in the state tournament for the first time since 1986.

In 2022, Tenino beat Montesano again en route to its first league title since 2013 and another trip to the postseason; the Beavers trounced King’s Way Christian in the crossover before falling to eventual runner-up Mt. Baker in the first round of the state tournament, finishing with a 9-2 record.

“I am truly honored that I was given this opportunity to rebuild this program from the ground up and mold it into a state contender,” Nagel said in his statement. “I would like to thank the players, parents, and coaches that have shared this road to success.”

For now, Nagel said his resignation only applies to the football program, and he currently plans to remain on as a teacher with the Tenino School District.

Meanwhile, the Beavers have just about five weeks to fill their vacancy. The WIAA dead period for football ends on Aug. 16, kicking off training camp.

“I think that whoever gets the head coaching job, the cupboards are pretty full at Tenino,” Nagel said. “There are some great kids there.”

Tenino is currently scheduled to open its 2023 season on the road at Colville on Sept. 1.